Arngrove Northern League

Whitley Bay, who have lost just once to date, embark on the FA Carlsberg Vase trail this afternoon when they visit Esh Winning in one of three all-Arngrove Northern League ties.

Whitley Bay, who have lost just once to date, embark on the FA Carlsberg Vase trail this afternoon when they visit Esh Winning in one of three all-Arngrove Northern League ties.

A boost to their chances is the availability of Kevin Walton, who has been sidelined for the last three games with an Achilles injury. Their only absentee is centre back Brian Smith.

Sunderland Nissan, second in Division One, also meet second division opponents when they go to Marske United.

Marske have made a good start and last week defeated UniBond League side Brigg Town in the FA Cup. "I'm anticipating a difficult game but hopefully will get a result since we are stronger with the return of defender Paul Stephenson and David Tait, who is the league's leading scorer," said manager Wilf Constantine.

Nissan's only concern is Paul Gilmore and, if he is unable to play, Paul Pringle will again deputise in goal.

Washington are at Pontefract Collieries and manager Barry Fleming reports that Gareth McKenna, Craig Marron, Christian Dinsley and Andy Taylor all come into contention.

In the first division, Ashington line up against Town Law Town at the Ironworks Road ground and manager Peter Johnson cannot call upon goalkeeper Paul Simpson or defender Derek Atwell. Kevin Morton, formerly with Bedlington Terriers, has returned from a trial with Grimsby Town and will be in goal.

Following the disappointment of losing in the FA Cup last week, Dunston Federation host Shildon at Federation Park pleased that Kane Young is back from holiday. They have doubts, however, surrounding Michael Robson and Mark O'Bern.

Chester-le-Street include Johnny Wightman, the South Shields cricketer, in their fixture with Newcastle Benfield Bay Plastics at Chester Moor Park, but Robbie Houghton is out and Shaun Devlin is doubtful.

South Shields lead the second division and, against Spennymoor Town at Filtrona Park, miss Joe Taylor, who has not played since being injured against North Shields.

Ryton went out of the FA Cup in midweek and will hope to return to winning form at the expense of Hebburn Town. Mark Campbell, signed from Ashington, comes into contention but Craig Tait has joined Seaham Red Star.

Sunderland RCA face a selection headache ahead of their game at Alnwick Town since no fewer than 10 players are unavailable.

Simon Andrews, Anthony Atkinson, Craig Ellison, Dean Fox, Phil Hall, Carl Jarvis and Adam Monkhouse are all injured, Phil Ingram and Barry Massey are working and John Butler suspended.

Former Berwick Rangers defender Steve Smith, now manager of the Wearsiders, has signed Adam Seymour and Craig McManus.

Seymour played for Garforth Town last year but now lives in the area, while teenager McManus was released by Sunderland.

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